How ancient viruses got cannabis high: Ancient viruses contributed to the evolution of hemp and marijuana

THC and CBD, bioactive substances produced by cannabis and sought by medical patients and recreational users, sprung to life thanks to ancient colonization of the plant’s genome by viruses, U of T researchers have found.

The finding is only one of the insights revealed by the long-awaited cannabis genome map detailing gene arrangement on the chromosomes, published recently in the journal Genome Research. Among other revelations are discovery of a gene responsible for the production of cannabichromene, or CBC, a lesser known cannabinoid, as the active substances in cannabis are known, and new insights into how strain potency is determined.

“The chromosome map is an important foundational resource for further research which, despite cannabis’ widespread use, has lagged behind other crops due to restrictive legislation,” says Tim Hughes, a professor in the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research and co-leader of the study. Hughes is also a professor in the Department

... read more at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181126105506.htm

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